Senate Bill 1283 – Continuing Supplementary Medicaid Reimbursement for Ambulance Services

Description of the invoice: Senate Bill 1283 provides additional Medicaid funding for ambulance services.

Rating: -1

Does he violate the principles of federalism by increasing federal authority, giving in to federal flattery, or incorporating changeable federal laws into Idaho statutes or rules?

SB 1283 makes state emergency services heavily dependent on the federal government for the care of Medicaid participants. In fact, the figure of $20 million for annual federal expenditures is only an estimate. This legislation does not specify the amount of expenditures this program should authorize, nor does it specify how the funds will be allocated to ambulance service providers.

Section 6 of this bill outlines the entire mechanism for qualifying, appropriating, and distributing these additional Medicaid dollars to the federal government. This allows shackles to be attached to this funding that can overrule state-level politics.

For example, the U.S. Supreme Court used a Jan. 13 ruling to suspend a proposed mandate on large employers, it let a federal vaccine mandate rest for employers who receive Medicare and Medicaid dollars. It’s likely that a vaccination mandate on local emergency department personnel would be a contingency for receiving those extra Medicaid dollars.

Overall, SB 1283 expands the scope of federal policy to the state level, replacing the Idaho statutes and rules.


Analyst Note:

Currently, Medicaid payment for services is final. This means that providers are not able to personally bill participants for unfunded expenses unless the participant is informed before the care is provided. It is not a luxury accorded to the emergent nature of the work of an ambulance service. Therefore, unfunded expenses are absorbed by the provider, passing the costs on to voters through local taxes.

SB 1283 supplements the unfunded costs of ambulance services with federal funding estimated at $20 million per year. This keeps the burden on taxpayers through printed, borrowed and taxed money. Despite the fact that this bill does not directly increase public spending, it may generate more debt by changing who pays for ambulance services for Medicaid participants.

Norman D. Briggs